I was raised in the church, taught to go every Sunday, reading the Bible and worshipping God was a large part of my childhood. At 9 years old I desperately wanted to be baptized. The pastor of our church spoke with me, concerned I was too young to understand the meaning of it all. My sincerity and love for God convinced him that I was actually ready and at 9 years old I was baptized.
I grew up in Hawaii, went to Christian schools and was very involved in church. I sang duets with my mother and had the lead in several all-school plays, all of which were a celebration of Jesus. However, as I became a teenager and alone much of the time because my mother worked long hours trying to survive to support us, I faltered.
We moved to California, and it was the beginning of the end for me. I was enticed into the world of sex, drugs and rock and roll. It was all quite glamorous to me, I had seen many things first hand, my uncle was the drummer for a very famous rock band, and the fast-paced life appealed to me and I wanted it for myself. I had my first "line" of cocaine on my 16th birthday, a present from my boyfriend. I loved it. It made me feel powerful and beautiful. I was confident, instead of shy, and suddenly able to talk to people I was otherwise afraid to. Several hours later, I came down hard. It was sickening. However, not enough to make me want to stop. I spent the next 2 years involved in marijuana, cocaine, acid, and alcohol. I became a smoker and always had drugs in my possession. My boyfriend and I always went to lavish parties in California, where there was lots of drugs and rich kids in huge homes. The type where a small party consisted of at least 100 people, few of which we knew, and it usually consisted of a helicopter circling above to break up the party. I thought I was living a pretty cool life, even tho I was destroying my body and mind. I did not think twice about the damage I was doing to my body.
But I could always get high to fill that emptiness. And I always came down hard. I started skipping school. My absences on my report card were in the 150 range, and my grades went way down. Of course, I was always able to forge the report cards, but it wasn't until the principal found drug paraphenalia in my locker and called my mother and told her what I had been up to. I dropped out of school. Somehow, in the back of my head there was always a little voice that kept me from going to the extremes that usually associate with drug use. Ill-health, prostitution, destitude, etc. There was always that thin line that I somehow never managed to cross, because God was keeping me safe. There were many situations where I feared for my life and thought I would die, but I was street-wise and managed to always get home safe. I always felt I was protected and that someone was watching over me - always. My mother never allowed me to drive because she feared I would crash the car and die. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 18. I hated her for it at the time, but now I am so thankful. I have lost several friends to drunk driving and it could have easily been me.
I stopped believing in Jesus and for a short time and it gave me relief. Relief because I didn't need to feel guilty for the terrible person I had become. Guilt feelings of pre-marital sex, drugs and all the awful things I had done to others and myself, were no more. My Christian sister gave me a book called Satan's Underground, a book about a lady sold into the world of satanism and her triumph out of that life and her redemption thru Jesus Christ. That book terrified me and the satanic aspects of it haunt me still to this day. I believed everything I read in the book to be true. Oddly, my believing in satan's existence, brought me back to believing in God. I realized that there can't be a satan w/o there also being a God.
At 20 years old I became pregnant. I decided to have the baby as I was very much in love with my boyfriend, and so we married. That child is my son, Michael. My beautiful green-eyed, blond haired, dark-skinned lovely little sunshine of my life. My greatest treasure, I call him. Pregnancy was the only thing that stopped me from partying. My family was supportive and saw that I received proper prenatal care. My husband and I were married when I was 6 months pregnant (not the most flattering wedding pictures)! Michael was born when I was just 21 years old. As soon as he was born, we were back to drinking and partying, however, I was too scared to do drugs since I had a young son. Thank the Lord for that! I stopped drinking and driving as I had 3 friends die during that time of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Another one of my friends was a drug dealer, he was shot in a parking lot by someone who owed him thousands of dollars. His killer was never arrested.
The next 9 years of my life were miserable. I slowed down on drinking and stopped doing drugs, as I was a wife, mother and had a full time job, plus my cats. I knew in the back of my head I had fallen in my walk with Jesus and occasionally prayed, and knew God was still there, but resisted committing my life to Him. At 29 I had my second son, Nicholas. God started working in my life. My 8-year old was always very interested in God and always had questions I could not answer. I realized the one thing I would like to give my two sons was faith in God, a solid faith that they could fall upon in times of need. That was what kept me from crossing that very thin line in my wild partying days. There was always the voice in the back of my head that told me I was about to go too far.
My sister and her husband invited me and Michael to see a very impactful play put on by their church, "Heavens Gates and Hell's Flames." It was for "Michael" they said, but I knew they hoped it would bring me back to God also. I agreed to go, just to take Michael. There were hundreds of people in the auditorium, many had to be turned away because it was standing room only. Outside the auditorium there were people praying, my sister said there was "intercessory prayer" for the play because many times satan's crew tried to sabotage it as it was such a powerful witnessing tool. It was a shocking play and God was talking to me throughout. During the middle of the play the fire alarm went off. I was terrified. I completely felt satan's presence and wanted to leave. The leader told us it was a false alarm, but by law, we had to evacuate the building. As I walked out of the building, I knew my life was going to change. The fire trucks pulled up as hundreds of us waited for the inspection. When it was safe for us to return, they finished the play, only this time it had more meaning for many of us. The pastor prayed for those of us who felt God had talked to us to raise our hands. I desperately tried but could not muster the courage. Just then my little 8-year old shot his hand straight up in the air, no hesitation, and completely proud. I immediately raised mine. I know now that God used Michael to give me the strength to raise my hand. He was God's little messenger for me. God filled my heart that night and I was battling between two worlds. I was still aware of satan's presence for the next few days. Satan knew he was losing me to God. That night I had nightmares of satan taunting me, I would wake up knowing what happened to me must have been so powerful that satan was threatened by my decision. It only strengthened my new-found faith. A couple weeks later we went to a new Christian's class and shared experiences with others. I was telling a man that I attended the play the night the fire alarm went off and I will never forget what he said to me: "That was so weird the fire alarm went off because it was in a locked room, to which no one had the key." Chills ran over me. It validated my feelings of satan's presence and I praised God.
God has performed many miracles in my life since that March of 1998. I pray that God will use my life as a witness to others, and that He will keep me open to doing His will. I try to fill my life with the love of God and my life has changed. I am not afraid to die.
I have a lot still to learn, but I want to grow and continue to feel the Holy Spirit in my body and life. There are no drugs for that feeling. God took someone like me, unworthy and tainted and saved me. I have done terrible things, evil things and He still loves me. HE STILL LOVES ME AND ALWAYS HAS! Why would He want me? But He does! I am one of His children and He has always loved me, even when I fell away from Him.
When I am upset or confused, The Bible is a strong comfort for me. I never want my life to be the way it was. I only wish I had ended my miserable existence a long time ago, and came to God sooner. But He knew I was not ready, and He waited for just the right time to welcome me back to Him. I like the way life looks when you know God. I want my children to know Jesus and teach their children about Him. The strongest force in my life is my faith in God.